Lower Extremity Jumping Mechanics of Female Athletes With and Without Patellofemoral Pain Before and After Exertion.

Willson JD, Binder-Macleod S, Davis IS

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the differences in lower extremity mechanics during single-legged jumps between female athletes with and without patellofemoral pain after exertion. Twenty women with patellofemoral pain and 20 healthy female controls participated in a functional lower extremity exertion protocol of repetitive single-legged jumps. Pain, exertion, hip and trunk strength, and 3-dimensional lower extremity joint mechanics were recorded at the beginning and end of the protocol. The patellofemoral pain group reported increased pain at the conclusion of the protocol. Mean strength measurements for the patellofemoral pain group were  lower than for controls. Group differences in lower extremity mechanics, including increased contralateral pelvic drop, hip adduction angle, hip flexion angle, hip abduction angular impulse, and decreased hip internal rotation angles, were observed among women with patellofemoral pain throughout the exertion protocol.

Women with patellofemoral pain demonstrated lower extremity mechanics that differed from the healthy control group during single-legged jumping, particularly at the hip. Conservative treatment programs that include kinematic retraining as well as hip and trunk strengthening may improve patient outcomes and prevent recurrence of this common orthopaedic condition.

American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2008 Apr 30, online article ahead of press

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